SEC charges Volkswagen, former CEO with defrauding investors

SEC charges Volkswagen, former CEO with defrauding investors

WASHINGTON — The Securities and Exchange Commission is charging Volkswagen and former CEO Martin Winterkorn with defrauding American investors during an emissions scandal.

The SEC said that between April 2014 and May 2015 Volkswagen issued more than $13 billion in bonds and asset-backed securities in U.S. markets when senior executives knew that more than 500,000 vehicles in the country grossly exceeded legal vehicle emissions limits.

The complaint claims Volkswagen made false and misleading statements to investors and underwriters about vehicle quality, environmental compliance, and the company’s financial standing, which gave Volkswagen a financial benefit when it issued securities at more attractive rates for the company.

Volkswagen did not immediately comment early Friday.